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I’m looking to buy a new mount and have narrowed it down to either the Sky Watcher HEQ5 with the Rowan Upgrade or the NEQ6 Pro, both a similar price.

The HEQ5 would suit my current needs payload wise whilst the NEQ6 would allow for any future expansion, the weight difference isn’t a problem as moving the mounts is unrestricted.

I would want to connect them to my Macbook Pro (it seems that most are used through a windows based system), what software would I need?

Any advice much appreciated.

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AP or visual or both?

I bought the HEQ5 pro 2 years ago, and belt modded it. I am very happy with it and it works perfectly for my 80mm refractor for Imaging and for my SW 200P for visual. However I must admit I am already looking for a bigger payload mount. So if I had to  make that decision today I would have chosen the higher capacity mount. But I would have spent a few more hunded £'s and chosen the EQ6-R PRO.

Edited by Viktiste
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Do you already have a go to mount?

Cloudmakers do a suite of applications for MacOS which seem to work , based on the INDI protocol but I have not yet tried these in anger.

 This is the summer’s research

Otherwise, there is not a lot for MacOS.

The Windows based ASCO platform DOES not support INDI devices, this is quite new and, again, I’ve not looked into this

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Do you already have a go to mount?

Cloudmakers do a suite of applications for MacOS which seem to work , based on the INDI protocol but I have not yet tried these in anger.

 This is the summer’s research

Otherwise, there is not a lot for MacOS.

The Windows based ASCOM platform DOES not directly support INDI devices, except with an extension “ALPACA” this is quite new and, again, I’ve not looked into this,  and it does need a windows component.

 

 

Edited by iapa
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1 hour ago, iapa said:

Do you already have a go to mount?

Cloudmakers do a suite of applications for MacOS which seem to work , based on the INDI protocol but I have not yet tried these in anger.

 This is the summer’s research

Otherwise, there is not a lot for MacOS.

The Windows based ASCO platform DOES not support INDI devices, this is quite new and, again, I’ve not looked into this

Unless the OP has some specific needs, Kstars/Ekos for macOS should be fine.

Edited by KP82
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No I don't yet have the mount hence me asking which of the two "Sky Watcher HEQ5 with the Rowan Upgrade or the NEQ6 Pro" and what software would be the best option considering I don't use a windows based system.

Both mounts aren't available and there certainly aren't any 2nd hand ones up for sale, so it's a waiting game.

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2 hours ago, Soligor Rob said:

No I don't yet have the mount hence me asking which of the two "Sky Watcher HEQ5 with the Rowan Upgrade or the NEQ6 Pro" and what software would be the best option considering I don't use a windows based system.

Both mounts aren't available and there certainly aren't any 2nd hand ones up for sale, so it's a waiting game.

I've seen quite a few HEQ5 popping up on UKABS. Maybe you want to keep an eye there.

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I'd certainly recommend an Heq5 for a first mount. Yes, the Eq6-r or an Neq6 is a more capable mount but the kind of scope you'll want to spend the first few years learning the AP skills won't need anything more than an Heq5. If the time comes to upgrade an Heq5 will sell quicker as it's such a top notch mount. The cost of an Heq5 with an ED80 is nearly the same as the Eq6-r on its own. 

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As a long time mac fanboi, Do remember you have crossover or the various virtualization options (vmware free now, parallels, virtual box) to run windoze stuff. So it's easy to use Windows astro software where you need to. Even on my M1 macs Im running DSS fine on crossover and parallels beta for example.

Imaging wise the native mac stuff isn't great - sirl, starry sky, stellarium, nebulosity.

 

Of course once you have your raw image you've lots of options - lightroom, photoshop etc. I prefer affinity. And it's cheap.

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Just to add a comment regarding the mounts.

I have an HEQ5 with the belt modification and it is fine - within its weight limits. I also have an AZ-EQ6 which I chose over the NEQ6 as it is better for visual. If you are looking at AP, in terms of tracking accuracy both are fairly similar, I can just load more on the AZ-EQ6. What I would add is the weight difference. The compete HEQ5 set up with ED80 and counterweights is about the same weight as the mount only for the AZ-EQ6. I don't have to carry it too far, but it is a consideration.

Both are good mounts for the price.

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